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Master Geek
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Topic # 239421 17-Jul-2018 08:35
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I'm going to build a deck and I'm looking at composite decking. Not sure which brand is best though. 

 

Bunnings sells Ekologix, Mitre10 sells TimberTech and PlaceMakers sells Permadeck.

 

Bunnings is by far the cheapest, 5.4mx137mm for $74 whereas PlaceMakers charges $120 for the Permadeck 5.8m x 133mm.

 

Also, the ones at Bunnings look nice, and it's an Ozzie company. But not sure why there is such a price difference?


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2057539 17-Jul-2018 08:43
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Outdure.com
I used this last year to do a 55 sqm deck. Awesome product. Very easy to install when following their instructions.

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  Reply # 2057557 17-Jul-2018 08:55
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  Reply # 2057571 17-Jul-2018 09:05
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About five years ago I had to re-surface an irregular-shaped small deck roughly 15 sq m. This was a floating deck over a waterproof membrane.

 

Went to Outdure with my drawing and measurements and they made a custom frame from their proprietary extrusions for me. I installed the whole thing myself - it was very simple with the proprietary plastic clips and I was rapt with the result. The clips lock into the extrusion and into the edge of the board - you end up with a strong but simple invisible fixing system. It really looked fantastic.

 

Then three years ago we moved to this brand-new house which has two 6 x 3 metre decks - both done in Outdure decking almost identical to our earlier one but fixed to standard timber joists. These decks are also brilliant. Fixing to timber still uses the plastic clips and you get the invisible fixing - which is one of the big appeal features.

 

My only slight reservation is that the decking gets freekin hot underfoot in full sun and too hot to walk on - probably hotter than ordinary timber decking. However we reckon the advantages of the decking outweigh this.

 

http://www.outdure.com/ecodecking-composite-decking

 

 


mdf

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  Reply # 2057625 17-Jul-2018 10:51
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So I'll declare I don't like the look or feel of composite decking, and while I have had a look at it every now and then, I have always gone with real wood.

 

In terms of pricing, the price per lineal meter is only one aspect of the total cost of the deck. Even putting aside labour costs (assuming you're doing it yourself and happy to value your time at zero), many of the composite decking options use or recommend proprietary fixing systems which can be spendy. Last I checked, the Bunnings product was fine with standard screws (assuming you're happy with the look); if you wanted the hidden screw option you had to invest in the Camo hidden fastening system. However, some of the PlaceMakers options require you to use the proprietary fixing system. One I've seen was even hollow core and if you screwed through it you would end up with it full of water (and you also had to invest in end caps). 

 

Similarly, consider the framing requirements for each product. Something that is happy with (say) 600 centers max (not that I'd ever do this) will have a third less framing required than something that requires 400 centers. The composite stuff tends to be heavy so may have additional framing requirements.

 

One of the big advantages of composite decking is that it is straight and true - much faster (and less frustration for DIY). The proprietary fixing systems can be very fast to fit, and not having to finish saves more time again. If you were paying someone to build your deck, all the additional costs of composite decking might be offset by labour savings (at least somewhat). If you're doing it yourself though, every calculation I've ever done shows composite decking to be more expensive than basic hardwood decking (kwila or vitex) and much more expensive than pine. It's more on a par with premium hardwoods. And if I was spending that kind of money, I'd choose premium hardwood every time. If you're worried about sustainability, you could even move up to Accoya (which is more expensive but seems incredible).

 

Finally, make sure you get something manufactured for NZ's harsh UV. I've seen composite decking fade and look plasticy and horrible (admittedly this would have taken 5-10 years) and since you can't stain it there's nothing you can do to restore it. In this vein, check the restoration instructions. When you scrape up your deck dragging a BBQ across it (you will) wood is still wood and you can restain it. Some composites you can restore by sanding, but that only works for surface scrapes and not deep gouges. 

 

Since it's dense it also acts like a thermal mass; I've heard tell of darker colours you can't walk on barefoot in summer. 

 

Finally, check the handling instructions carefully. I think the Bunnings one requires you to store it on its side until you use it or it might warp. Again, it's heavy and only comes in long-ish lengths so be aware there might be a lot of walking back and forth if you've got bad access.


mdf

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  Reply # 2058636 19-Jul-2018 09:39
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Today's Bunnings powerpass email has ekologix for $10.93 per meter (plus GST). By my maths, that makes it about $68 per 5.4 m length.

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  Reply # 2058650 19-Jul-2018 09:51
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We don't actively push this product as an alternative to wood decking anymore, though will we source if asked, due to issues with wear and tear.


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  Reply # 2058665 19-Jul-2018 09:56
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We've spent a lot of money on new decks over the last couple of years. Looked hard at composite decking. Wanted to. But couldn't convince myself to as it was more expensive and I had reservations about its longevity and appearance. 

 

So we have merbau (kwila). I like the luscious wet look so it will require a scrub and re-oil every year or two. But damn it looks good.

 

 


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  Reply # 2058723 19-Jul-2018 11:26
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dazhann:

 

We don't actively push this product as an alternative to wood decking anymore, though will we source if asked, due to issues with wear and tear.

 

 

 

 

Who is 'we'?


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  Reply # 2058724 19-Jul-2018 11:27
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I work for a trade building supply company




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 2058879 19-Jul-2018 15:20
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@dazhann could you please elaborate? It looks like composite quality has only improved? What would you suggest nowadays?

 

 

 

I'm concerned as well about the fading. There are warranties, but there will always be some fading allowed within that warranty. 


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  Reply # 2058894 19-Jul-2018 15:33
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I am guessing anything outside will fade or be affected by UV and moisture. Personally I prefer old school wood for decks for a wide range of reasons, especially if building it myself. To get the best life out of a deck, IMO make sure most of it is under a roof overhang and doesn't get very wet, and remain wet. We have parts of a deck that are 30 years old and nearly as good as new, which are under  roof cover. While the parts that have no cover showed signs of rot after about 10-15 years and needed replacing. Also decks can be slippery when not under cover and that can be a major problem with decks. . You do also need to factor in repairing and replacement with decks, and making sure you can continue to get the same sized timber/product. 


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  Reply # 2058913 19-Jul-2018 16:13
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I would agree with you that quality has improved and it is made with recycled product so there's the feel good factor, although Im not sure how you would dispose of it when it came to the end of its life.

 

Problem is we have had complaints about marking and scratching and as mdf mention light marks can be sanded out but deeper marks are an issue. Would be interesting to see what it looks like in 5 years time with marking and fading.

 

Wood is a tried and tested product which is easy to install and maintain. And if parts need to be replaced they are easily sourced. Our customers, builders, are reluctant to use something they don't know about and will have to stand behind. We have sold thousands of metres of pine and kwila decking, the last sale for composite was at least a year ago and they complained.

 

 

 

 




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 2059303 20-Jul-2018 13:37
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Okay, wood it is :) Thanks guys.


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